I love a good historical, and any story with an unlikely hero is bound to find its way onto my keeper shelf. When I discovered Gone With the Wind, I found both, as well as a love for Civil War era tales. Imagine my surprise when I found out one of the most surprising tales of the era took place almost within walking distance of where I was born in
Picture it: Five thousand Union sailors in a flotilla of seventeen vessels against 44 Confederate artillerymen at the command of an Irish saloon owner. Sounds like the making of a sound defeat or a Hollywood action movie, doesn’t it?
In truth, it is the story of a band of soldiers called the Davis Guards, or Company F of the First Texas Heavy Artillery Regiment stationed at tiny
Richard “Dick” Dowling started life in
At the outset of the war, Dowling enlisted and eventually found himself assigned to the remote outpost of
At the end of the battle, 350 prisoners had been taken and the enemy had retreated leaving significant amount of supplies, weapons and ammunition behind. Lt. Dowling and his men were heroes, hailed by President Davis and commemorated with medals melted down from Mexican silver.
Interesting fact: two streets in downtown
So, what sort of history can you find within walking distance of your birthplace?